EndSARS FCT Headline Local News Nigeria

Panel on EndSARS accuses Police  of undermining its work

The Independent Investigative Panel on alleged human rights violations by the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) has accused the Head of the Nigeria Police Force Legal Department, Ogbeh Ochogwu, of deliberately frustrating its work.

The panel has complained that Mr Ochogwu, a commissioner of police, has consistently refused to obey its summons.

A member of the panel and representative of the Nigeria Bar Association, John Aikpokpo-Martins expressed the frustration of the investigative panel at its sitting in Abuja.

He was reacting to the case of alleged arbitrary arrest, detention and enforced disappearance of one John Alozie.

Mr Aikpokpo-Martins said despite the fact that there was evidence indicating that an order summoning Mr Ochogwu had been served on him since December last year, he had yet to comply, nearly three months after .

He said Mr Ochogwu was duty bound to submit to the panel the case-file and the victim, Mr Alozie.

He said it was high time the Police Force came clean on the matter and be ready to guide the panel on the whereabouts of Mr Alozie, and whether or not his case-file was lost since evidence before it showed that the victim was arrested and detained by the police.

The Acting Chairman of the panel, Garba Tetengi, who adjourned the matter until the 9th of this month, said the order summoning Mr Ochogwu still subsists.

The family of Mr Alozie had petitioned the panel that five policemen from the defunct SARS office, Awkuzu, Anambra State, invaded their son’s house in Lagos on June 15, 2017, and went away with him, his two cars, monies as well as personal documents contained in his briefcase.

The family alleged that since then, the policemen – Anthony Obiozor, Uzo Emeana, Sunday Okpe and two others – have  refused to disclose Mr Alozie’s whereabouts, despite petitions to the Inspector General of Police as well as court orders.

Since the panel commenced hearing on the matter in 2020, none of the said officers has appeared before it, despite several summons.

Reporting by Bose Ijelekhai; Editing by Daniel Adejo and Tony Okerafor